Book Tuesday: The Girl Who Never Was


Title: The Girl Who Never Was
Skylar Dorset
YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date:
June 1, 2014
Buy: Amazon

THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS is the story of Selkie Stewart, who thinks she’s a totally normal teenager growing up in Boston. Sure, her father is in an insane asylum, her mother left her on his doorstep—literally—when she was a baby, and she’s being raised by two ancient aunts who spend their time hunting gnomes in their Beacon Hill townhouse. But other than that her life is totally normal! She’s got an adventurous best friend who’s always got her back and an unrequited crush on an older boy named Ben. Just like any other teenager, right?

When Selkie goes in search of the mother she’s never known, she gets more than she bargained for. It turns out that her mother is faerie royalty, which would make Selkie a faerie princess—except for the part where her father is an ogre, which makes her only half of anything. Even more confusing, there’s a prophecy that Selkie is going to destroy the tyrannical Seelie Court, which is why her mother actually wants to kill her. Selkie has been kept hidden all her life by her adoring aunts, with the help of a Salem wizard named Will. And Ben. Because the boy she thinks she’s in love with turns out to be a faerie whose enchantment has kept her alive, but also kept her in the dark about her own life.

Now, with enchantments dissolved and prophecies swinging into action, Selkie finds herself on a series of mad quests to save the people she’s always loved and a life she’s learning to love. But in a supernatural world of increasingly complex alliances and distressingly complicated deceptions, it’s so hard to know who to trust. Does her mother really wish to kill her? Would Will sacrifice her for the sake of the prophecy? And does Ben really love her or is it all an elaborate ruse? In order to survive, Selkie realizes that the key is learning—and accepting—who she really is.


Le Sigh. Where to begin with this book.  I had such high hopes and they were quickly dashed within the first two chapters.  A girl who doesn’t know her true family history? Faeries? Different worlds? Seems right up my alley, but no.  It was not meant to be.

Selkie lives in Boston with her two eccentric Aunts and her father who is in an insane asylum.  The only person besides her best friend, Kelsey, that she can talk to is her enigmatic friend Ben, who hates getting wet.  Eventually she finds out that she is the daughter of the Queen of the Seelies and is destined to fulfill an ancient prophesy (or prophesies according to who you ask) that will bring down the Seelie court.  Therefore, naturally, all the Seelie fairies want her dead.

For literally half the book, Selkie is trying to figure out what is happening and who she is and the reader is right there with her.  It was ridiculously confusing.  What is the Otherworld? What is Thisworld? and who or what is everybody?! Not until HALFWAY through the novel (I kid you not, I marked it) do you start to understand what she’s actually dealing with.  This made it very hard for the reader to become invested in the story.

The character development was practically non existent, especially the relationship between Selkie and Ben.  Yes, Selkie has had a crush on Ben since forever (which is mentioned in a fleeting comment at the beginning), but then magically he loves her too and when he gets in trouble, she must risk everything to save him? It seemed far fetched and unbelievable.  I didn’t see any relationship building or interaction between these two characters that deemed it worthy for her to perform this grand gesture of heroism.  (This is one of my major pet peeves in YA literature).

What a disappointment, especially since the premise seemed so interesting–a Faerie take on Alice in Wonderland.  Unfortunately, the execution of said premise was found wanting.



  1. Well, I guess this makes me feel a little better that I didn’t manage to pick this one up at BEA…..??? =S Seriously though, this book should’ve worked!! It should’ve been amazing!! But from what you said, I’d totally agree with you about the unnecessary confusion and lack of relationship development. :((( *sigh* Doubly sad, because I love the covers for this book AND its sequel. They’re so eye-catching.


    • Cristina says:

      I know! And the ending of this book makes it so you “want” to read the sequel, but honestly I have absolutely no desire.

      Thanks girl!

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